tubing group returning up-river for another river run rent a big safe quad tube at Portneuf Rapids in Lava Hot Springs

Floating the river through Lava Hot Springs is an affordable way to enjoy a warm summer day with friends and family.

river tubing in southeast idaho

Large Groups + Portneuf Rapids Tube Rental

Draw a heart around it and poke it with Cupid’s arrow: outfitting large groups is our specialty. We carry a large inventory of river tubes—from singles to the big quads, offer a sweet group discount for half-day and full-day rentals (see rates, below), and have plenty of river-tubing savvy to share. Please read the River Ridin’ FAQs below and then take a good look at the float map and familiarize the group with the various put-in points, the exit point, and the walking return path.

SEASONS AND HOURS: We’re open and dealing tubes from Memorial Day weekend thru Labor Day weekend; 10:00 a.m. to Dark (last tube rental one hour before dark) Monday thru Saturday. Closed Sundays. The group rate is only offered Monday thru Friday. A little advice: the large group experience is better all around if you make your river-riding plans for a day other than Saturday.

Easy to Find, Easy Return

Look for us right there at the west (speed slides) entrance into Lava Hot Springs: across the street from the Olympic swimming pool complex in the grassy area below the speed slides and parking.

—GPS: 42.620711, -112.012156

—Google Maps

FINISH LINE TUBE RETURN: Since we’re located right there at the bridge exit where all the tube riders come off the river, there’s no need to schlep your tube all the way back into town to turn it in. We’re located right there at the finish line, ready to check-in your group’s tube-steeds and wave you all on your way.

Authentic Wild River Thrills

Is your group up for a little wet-ride adventure? Coming to Lava Hot Springs to take on the Portneuf River is a memory-making fun-fest. None of that tamed-out amusement park sissy water float ridin’ for your bunch—they’re thinkin’ wild river; they’re thinkin’ a tube ride right down on the deck where it’s wet and gritty, riding a ribbon of bucking snowmelt pounding its way through town. We rent the tubes and dispense the sage advice, but the adrenaline rush: that’s free!

SAY IT LIKE A LOCAL: Speaking of authentic: wondering how to pronounce PORTNEUF? Like this: port-nuff. As for the town name of Lava, the locals pronounce the first “a” short, like the “a” in have (so, not law), and the second “a” gets an uh sound.


At Portneuf Rapids Tube Rental, you don’t need a coupon to save money—we offer coupon rates everyday of the week! For large groups (15 or more people), the savings start at half-day rentals (excluding Saturdays).

GROUP RATES (Monday – Friday)
(15+ people) 2 HOURS 1/2 DAY FULL DAY
SINGLE TUBE $5 $8 $12
DOUBLES TUBE $10 $16 $24
TRIPLES TUBE $15 $24 $36
QUAD TUBE $20 $32 $48
$5 $8 $12


Am I required to wear a life jacket to float the river? We strongly recommend that everyone tubing the river wear a life jacket. We provide them free with your rental, but they are not required. Remember, this is a natural river, not an amusement park ride: you tube at your own risk!

Where do we enter the river to float and where to we exit the river? We have provided a map that shows the best places to put in and the exit: view and download a PDF of that map. There is a tuber’s path clearly shown on the map that begins by our tube rental and provides a short cut back to the put-in spots up-river. It’s about 3 1/2 blocks to walk to the top. EXIT THE RIVER: the photos (left or below) show what the exit stairs look like. You’ll see them to the right immediately after you cross under the last steel footbridge before the main concrete vehicle bridge leading into town.

What should I wear while tubing the river in Lava Hot Springs? We recommend that riders wear closed-toe shoes or water shoes—not flip flops (you’ll lose those)! Protect your feet! Also, pants, shirt, & life jacket. Remove loose items (like keys) from your pockets. GROUP LEADERS: it’s a good idea to bring plenty of sunscreen and sunburn-reliving gel and a first aid kit stocked with adhesive bandages and antibotic salves to treat the inevitable scrapes and scratches.

Do I need to leave security while renting your tubes? Yes! One person can leave an I.D. (like a driver’s license) for the group.

Is it safe to buddy-ride a tube? Yes! But only on the large tubes designed for 2 or more passengers. It is actually safer to float the large, multi-person tubes, as they are much more stable and less prone to tipping and flipping than the singles. This is not a lazy amusement-park river. There are sections of rapids (depending on where you put in) and plenty of rocks, including abrasive lava rocks. For first-timers, we recommend avoiding the wilder sections of the river by choosing the lower put-in points (shown on our Lava float map). The highest put-in point is up above a wicked little waterfall that wrecks most inexperienced—and lot of experienced—tubers. Going over the falls can be dangerous! Best to put in the river from the floating platform just below the falls. BEST PRACTICE FOR GROUPS: Peer pressure and group dynamics being what they are, it’s best to group aggressive, nothing’s-to-stupid-to-try tubers together on multi-person tubes or have them rent singles. Then team the ones who’d rather ride the river ON the tube instead of off it down among the skin-abrading rocks—they’ll enjoy the day’s experience so much more. See float map for details; download the map and bring it with you.

When’s the best time to bring a large group? Thursdays and Fridays (or earlier in the week) are always better than super-busy Saturdays, not only in terms of the crowd on the river and in town, but also for finding parking and claiming some turf on one of the lawns to establish a little group base—a gathering place to have lunch, share wipeout stories, and generally hang out between runs. We don't offer a group rate on Saturdays, plus, our stock of river tubes hasn’t been quite so picked over!

Is there a shuttle service back up river? There is a shuttle that picks up at the exit point (see rate chart, above for costs). Keep in mind: the walk back is only 3 1/2 to 5 blocks, depending on where you put in.

How long does it take to make run? You can get 1 to 2 runs in an hour, depending on how fast you are getting back up river and how far you go to put in.

What if someone keeps tubing the river beyond the exit point? The exit point is right before the bridge into town (see map). Beyond the that, the river gets slow and runs through private property with limited pedestrian access to exit the river and get back to town. We ask that you exit at the designated (wooden stairs on the right, just past the last overhead footbridge) location!

What is the name of the river in Lava Hot Springs & where does it come from? You’ll be tubing on a stretch of the Portneuf (port-nuff) River as it flows through town. It comes through Chesterfield reservoir 24 miles north and also receives water from Topance Creek, Pebble Creek, and Fish Creek.

Is that river in Lava Hot Springs heated? Several hot springs drain into the river as it winds through town, but it is still a bit chilly! A float in the river is wonderfully refreshing on a hot day!

Where do I find the public restrooms? Located a block south of the tubing exit, across the bridge into town, in the middle of that first block in a little park, set back off main street. Restrooms are marked with a red square on the float map. There will also be some plastic chemical outhouses around town. Usually there’s one right next to us.

Is there a Tubing Season? We’re renting tubes from Memorial Day weekend thru Labor Day weekend. (We close Sundays.)


Contact Us




FIND US: We're located in the fork of the Y at the west entrance to town, right across from the Olympic Pool and Speed Slides Complex.

Seasons and Hours

Memorial Day weekend thru Labor Day weekend; 10:00 a.m. to Dark (last tube rental one hour before dark) Monday thru Saturday. Closed Sundays.

Float Map

Download our float map that shows the places to put in the river, where to exit the river, and the return path to do it all again.

link to float map